Records tumble on final day

2009-10-19 00:00

SWEDISH swimming star Therese Alshammar was in top form as she bagged herself $20 000 with two world record performances on the final day of the Fina/Arena Swimming World Cup at the King’s Park Aquatic Centre on Saturday.

Alshammar started her record assault in the morning heats of the women’s 100 m individual medley where she clocked 58,51 secs to dip in under the previous short course world best of 58,54sec held by Australia’s Emily Seebohm.

“I felt good going into the race off the back of wins in the 50 metres freestyle and 100 metres butterfly on the first night,” said a delighted Alshammar. “I have been working really hard on my turns and butterfly kicks during training and it all came together for me today.”

Alshammar then withdrew from the final of the 100 m IM to concentrate on the 50 m butterfly. From the start her intentions were clear as she took the gold medal in another world record time of 24,75sec, breaking the 24,99sec held by Australian Marieke Guehrer.

American stars Jessica Hardy and Peter Marshall followed with their own world records on a night of fast times. Hardy recorded an amazing 29,45sec in the women’s 50m breaststroke to eclipse her previous world record time of 29,58sec set in April last year.

Marshall was in a league of his own in the men’s 50 m backstroke when he broke team-mate Randall Bal’s previous world record of 22,87sec, touching in a brilliant 22,75sec.

Reacting to her superb performance in the breaststroke, Hardy said: “I was swimming with ease out there and I am pleased to have gone so fast so early in the Fina/Arena Swimming World Cup series. I wasn’t happy with my performances during last night’s swimming, so I really am more than delighted to have produced this lovely time.”

Marshall smiled broadly after his world record time whem he earned $860 per metre. “I was happy with my swim in winning the 100 m backstroke the night before so I knew I was in good shape for the 50 m dash,” said Marshall. “Hardy and I were training together in Los Angeles so it’s great that we could both get world bests this early.”

A number of South Africans got among the national records while Pietermaritzburg star Darian Townsend raced to a double victory in the men’s 200 m freestyle and 200 m IM. For Townsend, a fast 1:42:79 in the 200m freestyle was just 0,04sec outside the Africa and SA record held by Ryk Neethling. The 200 m IM was a close affair with Markus Rogan, and Townsend proved the stronger on the second half to win in an encouraging 1:53,13.

The evergreen Mandy Loots continued to show that at 31 years old, she still has plenty of racing left. She closed down Felicity Galvez (Australia) on the last 50 m of the women’s 200 m butterfly, but had to settle for the silver by just 0,33sec. The consolation was that the Africa and SA mark of 2:06,60 set in Berlin last year by Loots was shattered in a new time of 2:05,88.

Then it was the turn of birthday man George du Rand in the men’s 100 m and 200 m backstroke. On Friday he lowered his own Africa and SA record in the 100 m to 50,83sec before stunning the crowd in the 200 m event on Saturday. Du Rand was 2,09sec under world record pace at the halfway mark, only to pay the price on the final 50 m section to clock an outstsanding 1:49.53 — 2,29sec faster than the record he set in Durban last year.

The Fina/Arena Swimming World Cup will move to Moscow(November 6-7), Stockholm (November 10-11), Berlin November 14-15) and Singapore (November 21-22) where more world records are likely to be set.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.